Common Core Communication Network: How Parents Can Help Their Kids

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National PTA Common Core Video Series

Description: This video series, developed through a partnership with the Hunt Institute, was designed to educate parents on the Common Core State Standards and empower them to support the transition at school and at home.

Put Our Children 1st: Common Core for Common Goals

Description: The National Urban League Wire has published resources to help parents learn more and advocate for the Common Core. With a map, backgrounder, Q&A, and key messages, this succinct brief allows parents to quickly become familiar with what the Common Core is and how it will benefit their students.

Parents Get Schooled in Common Core for ELA, Math

Description: Parents of Long Beach (N.Y.) School District learned how to help their students with math and English/language arts after the district conducted a workshop for them. Then they learned how to interpret test scores based for the first time on Common Core State Standards. Here is a link to the presentation that they used.

A Parent’s Concern about the Common Core

Description: In a letter-to-the-editor-style article, a retired school principal answers questions submitted by her readers. One parent wrote asking how her student, who is learning English, as a second language, would be able to succeed with the new standards. The response could be adapted to respond to similar concerns in your school community.

Common Core Video from California PTA

Description: This great, three-minute video explaining Common Core was done by California State PTA. It explains how the Common Core State Standards will help students achieve at high levels and help them learn what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond.

Sample Letter from Superintendent for Parents

Description: In a sample letter designed to be sent to parents from the superintendent, some key facts about the Common Core are addressed. The superintendent explains how the Common Core is a step in the right direction toward more quality education for all American students, and those right in their own backyard.

Parent Roadmaps to Common Core Standards

Description: The Council of Great City Schools developed guidebooks for parents to be more supportive and understanding of the education their children will face in each grade level and for mathematics and language arts. This way, they are better able to help their children at home to understand the concepts they learn at school. It also develops a stronger sense of partnership for parents and educators.

Parents' Guide to Student Success

Description: National PTA® created the guides for grades K-8 and two for grades 9-12 (one for English language arts/literacy and one for mathematics). The Guide includes key items that children should be learning in English language arts and mathematics in each grade, once the standards are fully implemented, activities that parents can do at home to support their child's learning, methods for helping parents build stronger relationships with their child's teacher, and tips for planning for college and career (high school only).

Don't Politicize the Common Core State Standards!

Description: An article written by a member of the Learning First Alliance appeared on the Transforming Learning EdWeek blog. The author, a parent, says that Common Core State Standards should not be politicized or demonized. He asserts that quality education needs to be assured in each state, and that this program could finally bring that assurance to fore.

Core Standards – FAQ

Description: Frequently asked questions developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Subjects include: overview, development process, implementation, future work, content and quality of the standards. It explains the importance of these standards, how they differ from previous attempts to reform education, and their role in helping improve education.

Common Core Implementation Video Series

Description: Videos created by the Hunt Institute and the Council of Chief State School Officers help educators, policy makers and parents understand the Common Core and how to use it most effectively. The videos are meant to be conversation starters, advisory materials in developing curriculum, engagement tools, and support-building devices to get the community behind the district.

Learn More about the Assessment Consortia

Description: Links to each of the six groups charged with developing the Common Core State Standards. There is a paragraph or so description about each group. It explains their part in the development of the standards.

David Musselwhite: Values of the Common Core: Equity, Competition, and Collaboration

Description: David Musselwhite, Common Core State Standards Initiative Team Leader for the Michigan PTA, wrote a response to a piece that appeared in an earlier EdWeek blog, questioning whether the Common Core is meant to instill authoritarianism. He says that the Common Core is meant to bring out a healthy sense of competition, equity, and collaboration. He says that American students’ poorer academic performance necessitates an upheaval of the current educational program. He supports the Common Core as a solution to helping students catch up to their international counterparts.

Communicating with Stakeholders

Description: Jim Dunn shares his view of what public school communications professionals need to know about communicating Common Core State Standards to their stakeholders. He has included some talking points, areas of advice, and key information that all school PR professionals should know about CCSS.

Sample Letters

Description: If you are unsure how to share information about the Common Core with your school's parents, consider using language from this sample letter. Or, if you want to write to your state legislator urging them to support the Common Core, you can educate them on its benefits with the sample letter for legislators. There are also several quotes that you can attribute and include for teachers, to help add a voice to the letter.

What Parents Should Know

Description: This backgrounder provides parents with information about the inception, adoption, and importance of the Common Core. It shares resources for parents regarding standards for English language and math, as well as a guide for parents from the National PTA.

Common Core GPS

Description: Cobb County School District shared their microsite designed to help people navigate and understand the Common Core. There are resources for educators and parents, as well as a timeline, and more topic-specific information. Cobb County Schools describe the Common Core State Standards as a way to build upon the strength of current standards to boost the competitive advantage of American students, who for the first time will have the opportunity to meet the academic standards set by top-performing countries.

Bryant Public Schools Common Core Website

Description: Bryant Public Schools has put together a website to explain the Common Core to its constituents. The Arkansas school district has broken down information by grade level, information for parents, tools and templates, and professional development. This resource gives a full understanding of what the Common Core looks like in Arkansas, so communicators can accurately discuss it.

Sample Common Core Newsletter Article

Description: Park Hill School District wrote an article for their Winter 2012 edition of the Park Hill Connection, to educate its school community about the Common Core. You can use this example as a template for your own communication.

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